Bawarchi Adds Meat to Their Menu And It Makes Me Surprisingly Sad

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It looks like Zam Zam Market isn’t the only South Asian restaurant in Culver City with some big news these days. Thanks to this comment we were tipped off to the fact that Bawarchi, the great Vegetarian steam table famously run by a serious “Soup Nazi” Chef of sorts, is now offering meat options on their previously veggie only menu. We have long contended that Culver City has the best Indian food in Los Angeles, and Bawarchi is far and away the best of the point to what you want Vegetarian places that seem to be ubiquitous on Venice and Washington Boulevards these days. The only thing that could make it better? Meat. Or so I thought.

There are two reasons Bawarchi has always been my favorite Indian steam table joint in L.A. First, there are a ton of options.  More than twice as many as similar places in the neighborhood, like Samosa House.  And more importantly, every one of those options tastes completely different. It’s clear the chef takes enormous pride in his unique variety of offerings, and for those of us who love meat there was always the most excellent fake chicken drumsticks. But nothing can replace the real thing, so I was pretty excited to try the new options.

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As always, you get three items plus raita, salad, plus your choice of rice and bread. Vegetarian combo is $10, meat is $12. The steam table is now divided into two options, vegetarian on the left, meat on the right. On the meat side, there were ten options pretty evenly divided between old favorites now being made with meat (chicken tikka masala, saag with goat) and completely new chef’s specials.  There was also a weird looking tandoori chicken and pepper chicken that will probably not lure me away from Zam Zam Market.

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I went with the goat saag, plus two of the chef’s special meat dishes.  Everything was pretty tasty, but nothing blew me away. And the goat was really tough, which isn’t surprising because the chef doesn’t eat meat.  He told me that he’ll taste the sauces in the dishes, but not the meat itself.

So why did he add meat to the menu?  ”Because everybody wants meat.”  Really?  Is this a twilight zone episode?  We are still in Los Angeles, right?  Figures.  Professional fat guy, Mr. Pork Better (middle name Makes Everything) finally discovers an outstanding chef making delicious food that is not improved by meat, where the fake chicken is better than the real chicken, and somehow it’s not good enough for L.A.!?  Somehow this guy can’t generate enough business to keep meat off his menu.  This must be a first.

Wait. Did I just rant against a vegetarian restaurant adding meat to their menu. We really are in the twilight zone. The point is, go to Bawarchi. It’s amazing Indian food and they clearly need your business. I would just recommend getting the vegetarian dishes over the meat dishes… aaaaaaaand, those are words I never thought I would say.

Bawarchi, 10408 Venice Blvd (at Motor), 310-836-8525

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